MADISON, Wis. — A new non-partisan, nonprofit political group is hoping to improve ethics in Wisconsin politics.
LeaderEthics-Wisconsin is committed to ensuring political leaders at the statewide and national levels are handling issues in an ethical way, Wisconsin Public Radio reported . The organization recently held an event where former state lawmakers discussed their experiences with ethics in politics.
The group began earlier this year in La Crosse and hopes to start local chapters across the state. People would pay $25 annually to be a member. They would receive a monthly newsletter with examples of good and bad ethical leadership in politics.
"One of the things we can do is to encourage next generation candidates who develop a playbook as an ethical leader," said Lee Rasch, the organization's founder and executive director. "If we can do that from the beginning, perhaps in 10 years or beyond we can see a difference."
Members will also be able to answer surveys grading elected leaders on their ethics, the results of which the nonprofit plans to share with media organizations.
"The grades are not based on their political views, or whether they're left-leaning or right-leaning, or voting on any given policy," Rasch said. "They're basically addressing whether or not they're truthful, whether they're transparent with public information, whether they're a unifier rather than a divider and whether they work hard to represent their entire constituency rather than the simple majority that may have voted for them."
Rasch said he's meeting with people in the Madison area in October with the hope of starting a second chapter.